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The BBC is committing to double the number of apprentices to 1,000 by 2025/26 – with each new hire to be offered either a permanent role or a freelance qualification.

The measures are set out in the corporation’s Levelling Up and the BBC report, which also sets a target to double its mentor network to 800 over the next five years.

The report highlights two successful graduates of its apprenticeship schemes.

Husna Wahid, who completed the BBC Production Apprenticeship Scheme [main picture], has worked for the BBC, ITV and Google and is assistant producer on Cardiff Productions' new BBC2 series Tan France: Beauty and the Bleach.

Meanwhile, Salford-based Digital Journalism Apprentice scheme alumnus Harry O’Connor is currently working on BBC 5 Live’s Breakfast Show.

The BBC is also set to double the number of outreach organisations it works with to 10,000, with the aim of reaching 1m children by 2027/28.

The report also details previously-announced ambitions, including its aim for 25% of its workforce to come from low socio-economic backgrounds, an expanded three-year partnership with the National Film & Television School and two new long-running drama series from the North of England and the Nations with a focus on local procurement and talent.

Former education secretary Justine Greening, who chairs the Purpose Coalition, the cross-industry group that supports the delivery of the government’s ‘levelling up’ goals, said the BBC’s plan “revisits its original mission of ‘inform, educate and entertain’ to challenge itself on what the BBC can do with its own opportunities and beyond in communities to drive levelling up across our country”.

She added: “It also recognises the BBC’s leadership in a wider media sector and its ability to drive change and level up through its supply chain of production companies.”

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